- Published on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
The contrast between views on Trident in Scotland and the rest of the UK are likely to be highlighted today. 95% of Scotland's MP are expected to vote against Trident renewal in a House of Commons debate. The motion says "That this House believes that Trident should not be renewed". Most Labour MPs are expected to abstain or not be present. A small number have indicated that they will vote with the Tories for Trident.
Shadow Chancellor John Macdonnell has urged his Labour colleagues to abstain on what he has told the press is an "SNP stunt". This is despite the fact that he and the new leader Jeremy Corbyn were amongst a handful of Labour MPs who voted for a similar SNP motion on 20 January this year.
Far from being a "stunt" the debate is a well-timed opportunity to tackle the issue of Trident the day after David Cameron announced that the initial manufacturing costs of Trident had risen from £25 billion to £41 billion and that the new submarines, which had been expected to enter service in 2028, would not now be operational until "the early 2030s". Earlier this year it was revealed that there were major problems in the MOD's management of the defence nuclear programme, following a review led by Jon Thompson, Permanent Secretary at the MOD, and Air Vice Marshall Stuart Peach. Thompson said that Trident was a "biggest financial risk we face in future". It was a "monster" which kept him awake at night (Guardian).
- Published on Sunday, 15 November 2015 13:44
- Published on Friday, 13 November 2015 11:58
We have just launched a new declaration calling on David Cameron to Respect Scotland and Scrap Trident.
Sign our petition online, or at one of stalls.
The wording of the petition is
We call on the UK Prime Minister to respect the democratic will of the people of Scotland and cancel the £167 billion plan to renew Trident.
- Published on Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:58
Pro-Trident politicians are keen to argue that they only support multilateral disarmament and to dismiss unilateral disarmament. However, the reply to a question in Parliament shows that Britain has no record of achieving any reductions through multilateral disarmament. Paul Flynn MP asked: "how many UK nuclear weapons have been withdrawn from operational service as a result of (a) multilateral negotiation and (b) unilateral action since 1985." On 10 November 2015 Defence Minister Philip Dunne replied: "The UK has a strong record on nuclear disarmament. Since 1985 the WE 177 and Polaris warheads have been removed from operational service leaving only one type of nuclear warhead in service delivered by the Trident missile system. These withdrawals from operational service have been as a result of unilateral action."
- Published on Thursday, 12 November 2015 13:30
The flight test of two upgraded Trident missiles resulted in a flurry of concern about UFOs as the missiles were seen streaking across the night sky from California. The tests were taking place to certify new flight control electronics in the upgraded Trident D5A missiles. The new missiles are due to enter service with the US Navy in 2017 and on UK submarines before 2020. The overall effect of the missile upgrade and the related introduction of upgraded (Mk4A) nuclear warheads is to make Trident even more destructive. The new missiles and warheads will be significantly more effective against hardened targets, such as underground bunkers. However, attacks on hardened targets involve detonating the weapon on the surface which creates a masses of radioactive fallout.
Responding to concern about UFOs, a US Navy spokesperson said: "The big, bright flash some mistook Saturday for a detonation, missile intercept or UFO is actually the result of the solid-fueled Trident missile jettisoning one of its three stages."
- Published on Tuesday, 03 November 2015 17:06
The Scottish Parliament adopted a strong position against Trident renewal with 96 MSPs supporting the motion and only 17 voting against.
That the Parliament notes with concern new analysis by the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, which suggests a dramatic increase in the projected cost of the successor Trident nuclear weapons programme to £167 billion; ―recognises the number of workers in the British defence system in Scotland and throughout the UK whose employment is linked to Trident-related activities and that firm commitments must be made to the trade unions on the retention of defence workers’ jobs; believes that, in the event of the cancellation of Trident, the establishment of defence diversification agencies at Scottish and UK levels is essential to deliver a strong defence diversification strategy that provides workers with high quality employment through the retention of skills developed in the sector, while delivering a UK defence sector equipped to deal with the world and dangers that it possesses, and calls on the UK Government not to renew Trident.
- Published on Sunday, 01 November 2015 13:50
"Scottish CND welcomes the firm rejection of Trident by 70% of Labour members and union delegates in Perth. By rejecting Trident, the Scottish conference has given a lead to the UK Labour party. The vote has also illustrated the breadth of opposition to Trident across Scottish society. Scottish CND has worked with the STUC to explore alternative ways of deploying the skills of those who work on Trident. We are willing to help trade unions in further developing these proposals for defence diversification." - Arthur West (Chair, Scottish CND)